Torque 3D Engine...

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by Mickey Crocker, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. Mickey Crocker

    Mickey Crocker New Member

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    I've never created a game in 3-D before... However I am interested in learning how it all works.

    I was thinking of using the Torque Engine but have a few questions first. Does the Torque Engine have a 3-D editor that would allow me to design my own NPC objects and items for my game? Or do I have to use 3D Studio Max for that type of stuff and import them?

    Also, does Torque create huge filesized games? Is it reasonable to use it for indie development that does all of it's shipping online... I guess to put things simpler, can you make a half decent game with it that will stay around the 15 to 20 MB filesize limit of the game's setup file?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Bluecat

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    Torque is able to use models created from a variety of packages, there are converters available to change them into Torques format.

    You can use 3DS if you want to pay an outrageous price for it, but you can also use Lightwave, Truespace/Gamespace, Milkshape and Blender (in decreasing order of price... Blender being opensource/free software.)

    I suggest heading over to GarageGames and have a look at the forums. There is tons of info about the engine there. If there is something you need to know that you can't find, just ask.

    cheers
     
  3. Bluecat

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    Oh, and I should have said.

    If you just want to find out how 3D engines work, there are a few opensource ones available around the net. You'll have to pay for Torque before you get the source code... it's only US$100, but I'd check out some free ones first.

    Crystalspace ( http://crystal.sourceforge.net/tikiwiki/tiki-view_articles.php )
    OGRE ( http://www.ogre3d.org/ )

    are two. There are plenty of others, just do a google.
     
  4. Mickey Crocker

    Mickey Crocker New Member

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    Thanks

    I'll look into Blender. Is it quite a large learning curve to design 3D objects? With zero knowledge in that area, does blender have nice easy to understand tutorials?
     
    #4 Mickey Crocker, Aug 2, 2004
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2004
  5. gmcbay

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    Blender is just about the worst 3D tool to start off with as a beginner. The UI is extremely unintuitive.

    However, it is a great program... especially considering that it is free, and once you do know what you're doing, you'll find it has a great set of tools and is very quick to work with.

    A better way to go might be to try out the free version of Maya which is downloadable online and then when you're comfortable with that, switch to Blender. Even though you then have to learn two packages, I honestly think the beginning user would be better off doing that than walking into Blender cold.
     
  6. Coyote

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    Another great one to start out with just for sheer ease of getting a 3D game up-and-running is Irrlicht.

    I got the basic "Hello, world" application with a (pre-built) 3D model rendering in windowed mode in about 10 lines of code.
     
  7. Sybixsus

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    Torque is good for programmers, but bad for artists. All the artists I've talked to about it say that it has a truly horrible artpath. You get your models looking just as you want them, export them to Torque and then - BAM - everything's gone again. From what I can recall, GameSpace is the only tool which works properly with Torque, and GameSpace is not for everyone ( very quirky interface. )

    There is now a free version of GameSpace, called ( unsurprisingly ) GameSpace Lite. It has a polygon limit, but it gives you an idea of what you're getting yourself into.

    As for Blender, well heck Blender is hard to learn for experienced users, and the thought of trying to get the models into Torque when I was finished would drive me up the wall. I appreciate that Gamespace is not the cheapest package around, but it's just such a frustration when you can't get art smoothly into your game. It sounds a bit harsh, but if you don't like GameSpace, it might be a good idea to find an engine with a better artpath.

    I keep hearing good things about Truevision, and the next version is due to have a whole bunch of plugins for various modellers.
     
  8. Coyote

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    Not having done much with Torque yet - could you tell me: Is this a limitation of the engine, or a limitation of the exporter? Or both?
     
  9. Nemesis

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    And last (and for a change, least), is Wings3D.. it is free and I have found it a really good tool. The interface is not as -Windows-ized as much as I'd like, but I find it quite intuitive nevertheless. Check it out on www.wings3d.com.

    As for knowledge, I started out with zero knowledge on 3D graphics (save some generic math theory) and virtually no c++ experience.. if I managed as far as I did up till now, so can anyone else! I would however suggest you try out simple demos and tests before taking in a game project. It will serve you to (1) get a solid grounding and (2) identify the limits of whatever engine you're using

    Good luck
     
  10. Sean Doherty

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    What are you doing? I thought you were pushing Torque? :) I played with Irrlicht and OGRE; and out of the two of them I like Irrlicht much better. I also have gameSpace; the gameSpace tech support is not what I would like; but it does the job if your not going to do the modeling yourself.

    You can pull 3DS files into gameSpace and export tham to DirectX or I guess Torque. The big problem is that many of the modelers use 3D Studio Max; and gameSpace will not import a Max file without a third party plugin on the artists machine. Therefore, you generally have to save the max model in the 3DS format in order to import into gameSpace.
     
  11. Sybixsus

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    Possibly a bit of both, but primarily with the exporters. Some of the issues I can remember being told about were no support for cube maps, no multitexturing, only one UV channel, and problems with lighting ( which I assume were related to vertex normals not being exported correctly. )

    I believe Caligari wrote their own exporters, and that they work pretty well. Caligari's new Director of Marketing posts quite a bit at Blitzcoder and I'm sure he announced when GameSpace had the Torque exporters going well. The Max, Maya and Blender exporters were the offenders.
     
  12. Sean Doherty

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    Yikes, wouldn't the lack of multi texturing be a huge limitation?
     
  13. Coyote

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    Hmmm....

    I banged out some exporters for MilkShape into my custom engine - which is actually capable of doing a heck of a lot more than MilkShape can actually handle. I ended up having some special tags for materials to specify particular behaviors in the engine.

    I'm sure Blender is at least ten times as complicated as MilkShape's format. Ditto for Lightwave, which is the prefered package for my modeling crew. I'll have to take a look and see if there's anything I can do. I find that exporters tend to have the functionality needed for a single game - things get added very much on a 'by need' basis.
     
  14. Aldacron

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    It's the exporter. They are working a new version of it, so it will hopefully get better. Alex Swanson put together a matrix of the various .dts exporters and their capabilities here. It was posted not very long ago, so is up-to-date (I believe there has been one Blender exporter update since the matrix was posted).
     
  15. Tom Cain

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    I've heard that the book "3D Game Programming All In One" is a good primer for beginners. It uses the Torque engine and related tools to teach the concepts, so it is supposedly a good way to learn how to use the engine. I have never read it so I can't personally comment on its usefulness.

    3D Game Programming All In One
     
  16. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Learning 3D (or art in general) comes in two flavours-

    I don't have much time to learn about it = sub-par to average results.

    I have a lot of time (a year+) to learn about it = fairly good results.

    These days it isn't a battle to create a 3D engine (or use one already created) but don't be fooled into thinking the 3D art that goes into them is a 'play around with a couple of packages (free or otherwise) and make something good' type of affair. I never see the end of people getting into 3D, without a good understanding about what it is they're doing. Now, don't get me wrong- by all means, learn about it. But, I just wanted to throw in a word of warning that for someone like yourself with "zero knowledge in that area", you're in for a very long learning curve, that goes far beyond grabbing the odd 3D package and reading its tutorials.
     
  17. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    If you just want to learn 3d start by making a little 3d game in blitz3d. It's got a really nice intuitive interface that will introduce you to all the basic concepts.
     
  18. Carrot

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    I'd agree with the Blitz3D idea.
    Besides allowing you to try out 3D concepts extremely quickly, there are a host of other advatanges to using Blitz such the extended community and source examples, free/cheap animation modeling packages, selection of IDEs, the possibilty of interfacing with C++ via DLL calls etc. etc.
     
  19. ckob

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    I own both blitz3d and torque and I can say that Blitz3d is the easiest to use and im happier with the results I get in blitz then i am in torque, and also torque is geard towards fps style games anything diffrent is going to require some c++ coding.
     
  20. Evak

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    one problem with torque is that there are 2 formats. one for actors that has a 3dsmax exporter and the other for mostly indoor environments. when exporting from max you can export collision meshes, but only a handfull.

    your restricted to one UV channel and don't really have any blend modes appart from the basics liek full bright and alpha.

    all collsion geometry has to be convex hulls making them ineficcient for buliding levels in max.

    No support for a 2nd UV channel, only support for one texture layer, so you cant create your own lightmaps.

    No LOD in 3dsmax 6, the exporter hasn't realy changed much since tribes 2 so it doesn't really support many more modern features you would expect in a modern game engine.

    Torque doesn't do very good lightmaps, only those that hammer etc create. was talk of trying to support Giles.

    My partner has been thinking of rewriting the torque engine to support a custom 3d format, perhaps even a modified version of .B3D. But at the moment were going to see what blitzmax is like as it will take an awfull lot of time to make those changes, and we'd rather be making games with established tools.

    I think TGE's strongest point, is that it is tried and tested as far as cross platform goes, GG do a good job of promoting games written in their engine. And TGE has excellent network code with support for up to 64 players.

    If it had a good artpath it would be great.
     

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